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CBN Reveals Multi-Billion Dollar Debt to JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs


In a significant development, Nigeria’s central bank has unveiled its consolidated financial statements after a seven-year hiatus, shedding light on its outstanding debt to prominent financial giants JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs. The revelation comes at a time when the apex bank is under the scrutiny of a comprehensive investigation.

The official financial disclosure, made available on the central bank’s website, discloses a staggering $7.5 billion debt owed to JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs. Additionally, the bank acknowledged a further liability of $6.3 billion in foreign currency forwards with undisclosed counterparties. These figures underscore the intricate financial landscape within which the central bank operates.

According to the bank’s statement, the financial entanglement involves loans procured from JP Morgan, amounting to a substantial $7 billion, and loans of $500 million each from Goldman Sachs. These loans were obtained in 2021, further illustrating the financial complexity of the central bank’s operations.

A securities lending agreement stands at the heart of these transactions, involving both Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan. This agreement involves the central bank pledging its holdings of foreign securities in exchange for cash. However, the specific details regarding the nature of the securities utilized as collateral remain undisclosed.

The consolidated financial statements provide a comprehensive overview of the bank’s financial performance over seven consecutive years, spanning from 2016 to 2022. This long-awaited transparency comes in the wake of incoming President Bola Tinubu’s sharp criticism and subsequent dismissal of the central bank’s Governor, Godwin Emefiele. This move, undertaken on June 9, was accompanied by the appointment of a financial watchdog to conduct an in-depth investigation into the bank’s operations.

The ongoing forensic audit, spearheaded by the financial watchdog, is an integral component of broader reforms within Nigeria’s financial sector. President Tinubu, in a statement issued during the initiation of the investigation, underscored the imperative of these planned reforms to enhance the stability and integrity of the financial landscape.

With Governor Emefiele’s departure, Acting CBN Governor Folashodun Shonubi has stepped into the role of acting central bank governor. This arrangement is expected to persist until the investigative process concludes and the reforms envisioned by President Tinubu are implemented.

These reforms, set forth by President Tinubu, represent a significant departure from established norms and policies within Nigeria’s economy. The overarching objective is to engineer a robust economic expansion of at least 6% annually. As part of this sweeping transformation, President Tinubu has abolished the central bank’s currency controls, which had previously artificially maintained the naira at a higher value. Consequently, the naira has experienced a devaluation of nearly 40% against the US dollar.

Furthermore, President Tinubu has moved to eliminate the petrol subsidy that had placed a $10 billion burden on the government’s coffers in the previous year. This strategic move has resulted in a marked increase in fuel prices. The decision to address these fiscal challenges underscores the administration’s commitment to addressing long-standing issues and promoting financial prudence.

A critical factor underlying these financial reforms is the considerable loss of revenue resulting from large-scale theft within Nigeria’s oil sector. To counter this trend, the central bank has frequently provided cash bailouts to bridge government deficits. President Tinubu’s administration has vowed to reverse this troubling trend and foster an environment of fiscal stability.

In sum, the unveiling of Nigeria’s central bank’s consolidated financial statements sheds light on the institution’s financial intricacies and its substantial debt to JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs.

This disclosure coincides with a comprehensive investigation and an era of transformative financial reforms led by President Tinubu. The measures taken by the administration indicate a pivotal shift towards economic growth, though they also necessitate careful navigation in the face of evolving financial challenges.

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